Archive for August 28, 2013

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29 August 2013

As I approached Joy, she was hunched over some kind of smart phone. She was madly tapping the screen with her finger.

“This goddamn thing, it’s Big Jake’s,  I had music playing before, then I couldn’t turn it off. Finally I got it turned off; now I can’t turn it on.”

Metro was crossing the street between cars. I asked, “Still dodging cars? Do you have another job yet?”

“I just finished installing a security system for someone in Carleton Place. I get my old job back when Lou retires for the season. He doesn’t do winters. I’ll be at the corner of Slater and O’Connor. I should see some of my regulars there.”

“Metro,” I asked, “Do you know anything about these smart phones. Joy can get the radio turned on. She wants 106.9 FM.”

“I don’t know about these Android phones, maybe you need to be near a WiFi station. Some of the restaurants nearby have them, even Tim Horton’s.”

“Thanks, Metro, we’ll see you around.”

Joy said, I’ll just put this away. I’m no good with electronics. I’m going to have the internet cut off anyway. I still keep getting calls from Bell about an unpaid bill. I don’t know what that’s about.”

I said, “Maybe, has his bills e-mailed to his laptop, and you can’t access that. Is the account in your name?’

“No, I asked the woman if Jake had listed anyone else on his account.  She checked and said that he was the only one listed. I said, ‘Then what are you calling me for? Fuck off!’

“I talked on the phone to Jake. He said to just send them a money order, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay his bills.  He should have arranged for his O.D.S.P. check automatically deposited in his bank account. As it is it’ll be sitting on the table until he gets out in January. He could have had access to that seven hundred dollars right now. That’s his problem.”

“I’m so happy today, I’ve made eighty-six cents, but I’m still happy. A woman took me to breakfast at Lorenzo’s. I had a sausage sandwich with fruit on the side; two types of melon, blueberries and raspberries. She had Eggs Benedict with salmon. It was gross. I don’t know how anybody can take the smell of fish in the morning. She must have paid twenty bucks for that. I thought I was going to have to quit half way through my sandwich and put the rest in a doggy bag for later, but I finished. I feel great.”

I asked, “Did I miss anything after I left yesterday?”

“Oh yeah, Andre and his skank of a girlfriend came by. She’s a skinny Inuit with a face that looks like it’s been smashed with a frying pan. Andre came by me, but I just said to him, ‘Keep moving!’ Mariah saw me gritting my teeth and swearing under my breath. She  said, “Keep it under control, Joy.” She grabbed him and threw him in the gutter where he belongs.

“His girlfriend was wearing shades and I saw her gunning for me. I asked, ‘What is it with you? You got a problem with me or something?’ She said, ‘I don’t like the way you talked to my boyfriend.’ I said, “Has he done to you, yet what he did to me. Put out or get put down is his motto. He split my head open, broke two of my ribs, fractured two others. I’m still having trouble with one of them. The headaches have finally stopped. Now, what do you think I should say to him.?’

I got up, walked over to her, grabbed her sunglasses, broke them in half and threw them over the railing. ‘Now,” I said, ‘look into my eyes when you talk to me.’ Mariah held me back and said, ‘This isn’t worth going to jail for.” Otherwise, I would have decked her.”

Chester stopped by, Joy said, ‘You look buzzed.”

“I got some good pot. You want some?”

“No, I got my own. What are you doing later?”

“First, I’m going for breakfast, then I’m going home to see my girlfriend. She’s meeting me there.”

I said,”I have to leave now, but maybe I’ll see you both at the park around  noon.”

At noon I was greeted by Joy, Chester, Deaf Donald, Shark, Little Jake and Jack.

Joy said, “I’m really fucked up, man. I bin smokin’ Chester’s weed. It’s really heavy shit.  I can hardly talk. Chester, what do you call this stuff, it’s twice as good as we get from Hawk?”

“It’s called Beyond Kush. It’s stronger than Kush. (Hydroponically grown,   Kush is a type of marijuana which originates from Afghanistan, Pakistan and North western of India. It’s cannabis from the Hindu Kush Mountain. It’s considered to be a higher version of marijuana.)”

“How much is it?”

“Ten for a gram.”

“What if I wanted to but seven grams?”

“Sixty.”

“Put me down for some.”

Chester said, “I should be able to get a prescription for this from my doctor. He’ll give it to me for pain.”

Joy said, “Last time I went to my doctor he gave me these pills. I asked him how much THC is in these.  He said, ‘Six to eight percent.’ I was taking twelve in the morning, eighteen at noon and twenty-five at night to help me sleep. I was really buzzed — a nice body high.

“That’s when I was in hospital for my kidneys. I remember the nurse saying, ‘Okay now, were going to put this tube in your urethra.  I asked, ‘My what?’ She said, ‘It’s your pee hole.’ They tried the smallest one, then worked their way up to the biggest one, I was still leaking. I had to wear diapers the whole time I was in there.  I changed my own — there’s no way I was going to have an orderly do that. The thing that pissed me off the most was, I was capable of using the commode, if they’d only left it near by.

“One time, I woke up and the bag was full. My kidneys were hurting, since the pee was backing up in the tube. Then the bag burst. Bruno, the orderly, came in and slipped on the wet floor. He said, ‘You’re supposed to call me when the bag needs to be emptied.’ I said, ‘Don’t lay this on me. You’re the one whose supposed to be in every few hours to see if I’m still breathing.

“The next time I was in hospital, they threatened me with that tube. I just turned and walked away. I’d rather have the pain.”

“Dennis,” said Little Jake. “I was really singing your praises this morning. Remember that coffee card you gave me?  I used it today. I love my morning coffee, after a couple of sips I was able to hork up goobers the size of quarters. It sure felt good to get that stuff out of my system. Thanks, man.”

Donald handed Joy his phone. He said “I can’t hear her.”

Joy took the phone, “Shut up dickhead, I can’t hear her if you’re talking. She knows you’re hard of hearing. Donald asks if his check arrived in the mail. If it has, he’ll come by and see you… Okay, bye.”

She say’s it hasn’t arrived, and you’re not to go there.”

To me she said, “That was Donald’s mother. She used to be one of my regulars, she’d always drop me two bucks. One day Donald came up as I was talking to her. He was drunk, I said to her, ‘Is this man bothering you, ma’am?’ She said, “That’s my son.’ She hasn’t dropped any money since.

“Occasionally, I’ll see her. She’ll say, ‘If Donald comes around, don’t tell him that you’ve seen me.’

Donald and Joy carried on a conversation in sign language. Joy would punctuate her signing with a raised middle finger. Donald walked away and said, “Bitch.”

I could see Shakes, from a distance, slowly ambling his way towards the group. Joy said, “Okay, Shakes is coming, now we’ll know for sure if the checks came in the mail. Does he have a happy or a sad face? No checks today.”

Shakes sat on the grass beside me. “How is today going, Shakes.”

“Good, when I woke up this morning I saw that my flask from last night was still full, and Danny bought me a bottle. He woke me at seven o’clock and asked me if I wanted a joint. Then he brought out my new chess board. I bet you didn’t know that I knew how to play chess. I learned when I was six years old. Playing chess is like playing the game of life.”

Joy said, “Danny is a pompous asshole, and I know what a pompous asshole is. He acts all high and mighty. I asked him to do a wolf painting for me, he gave me one of an eagle. The same one I already have. He thinks that just because he paints, he’s better than everybody. Well I’m here to say, he isn’t, and I’ll tell him that to his face.”